Improving drug therapy for patients with asthma--part 1: Patient outcomes

J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 2001 Jul-Aug;41(4):539-50. doi: 10.1016/s1086-5802(16)31278-5.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of a therapeutic outcomes monitoring (TOM) program on selected process and outcome measures.

Design: Prospective, controlled, multicenter study.

Setting: Community pharmacies throughout Denmark (16 intervention, 15 control).

Patients: Five hundred patients with asthma aged 16 to 60 years and treated in primary care.

Intervention: TOM is a community-based program for pharmaceutical care. Using a structured, seven-step, cyclical outcome improvement process, TOM pharmacists identify and resolve (or refer) problems with drug therapy that, if not addressed, might result in therapeutic failure or adverse effects. Equal emphasis is placed on the patient's perspective (e.g., coping, control, and empowerment) and the professional's perspective (e.g., adherence, patient knowledge, and therapeutic problems). TOM requires cooperation among pharmacists, patients, and physicians.

Main outcome measures: Asthma symptom status, days of sickness, health-related and asthma-specific quality of life, use of health care services and resources, and satisfaction with health care and pharmacy. INTERMEDIATE OUTCOME AND PROCESS MEASURES: Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), knowledge of asthma and asthma medications, inhalation errors, and drug therapy problems in the TOM group.

Results: The mean individual differences for TOM and control patients were tested. Beneficial effects were found for the following outcome measures: asthma symptom status, days of sickness, and health-related and asthma-related quality of life. Satisfaction with health care and pharmacy varied throughout the course of the project, with no significant difference between groups at the final evaluation. Although not statistically significant, differences in use of services were considered to be clinically significant and encouraging. Beneficial effects were found for knowledge of asthma and medications, inhalation errors, drug use and drug therapy problems. No significant differences were found for PEFR.

Conclusion: The project demonstrated that therapeutic outcomes monitoring by community pharmacists is an effective strategy for improving the quality of drug therapy for asthma patients in primary health care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / economics
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / economics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents